District Judge Pat Priest of San Antonio sentenced former U.S. Majority Leader Tom DeLay to three years in jail. He was charged with conspiring to launder corporate money into 2002 political donations for several candidates running for election, a New York Criminal Lawyer was told.
He will also serve 10 years on probation for money laundering charges. Previously, DeLay had been sentenced to five years in prison for the charges, but the charges were reduced to 10 years of probation by Judge Priest.
Judge Priest said he agreed with the November 2010 guilty verdict the jury brought back after the trial. He believes DeLay conspired to break the law and that he should be held responsible for what he did. DeLay asked that Judge Priest sentence him instead of the jury who said he was guilty. He would not have received such lenient treatment in the courts of Staten Island and Westchester County.
He decided to have Judge Priest sentence him to prevent the jury from making an example of him. “Maybe we can get it before people who understand the law,” DeLay said to a NY Criminal Lawyer about the jury.
DeLay was accused of laundering $190,000 of corporate money into the Republication National Committee. The money went to the political efforts of seven Texas Republication candidates.
He faced 99 years in jail and up to $200,000 in fines before the judge sentenced him. DeLay is a first time offender giving him the ability of probation. He was taken into custody after hearing the judge’s decision. His lawyer is expected to appear the decision. DeLay will most likely post an appeals bond.
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